B.A.P grounds itself with ‘First Sensibility’
Up-and-coming K-pop boy group B.A.P has returned to the music scene with its first studio album “First Sensibility,” packed with colorful sounds and powerful hip-hop beats.
Following a series of successful singles, the new album proves that the six-member group is quite solid, having established a unique style characterized by a mixture of rap and steady vocals.
However, the group still has room for progress given that some parts of the album fail to move away from the typical melodies and song progression that characterize much of the songs of K-pop boy groups today.
The title track, “1004 (Angel),” is an upbeat dance song that features an interesting mix of rock and acoustic sounds. Despite the high-pitched singing, the members manage to deliver a stable and powerful sing-along with a soulful rap that blends in between the melodies.
“SPY” includes groovy brass riffs within a hip-hop rhythm while “Bang X2” features heavy metal rock accompanied by B.A.P’s signature rapping, a relatively fresh approach taken by a boy group.
“Easy,” “Shady Lady” and “With You” are mellow songs which are decent yet not particularly noteworthy compared with the abovementioned tracks.
Wayne Marshall’s ‘Tru Colors’ delivers
(Ghetto Youths International)
Some 10 years after the release of “Marshall Law,” Jamaican reggae artist Wayne Marshall has released “Tru Colors,” a diverse 13-track collection under the supervision of Damian Marley on the Ghetto Youths International label.
Written mostly by Marshall, the long-awaited record covers a broad range of topics and showcases collaborations with veteran dancehall artists Assassin, Bounty Killer, Tarrus Riley and Capleton.
The standout track is the catchy anthem “Stupid Money,” featuring Assassin. With a delivery that rides smoothly alongside Marshall’s vocals, a hip-hop beat and children singing the hook, it’s reminiscent of Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life.”
The title track sees an honest Marshall calling out disloyalty and deceit among fake friends over a lively mid-tempo beat, and the rootsy “I Know” is a boastful tease to his peers showing his witty and competitive nature.
“Tru Colors” is well put together and delivers a refreshing curve to the dancehall game, outshining Marshall’s previous releases. (AP)
Wilco bandmates produce tight pop
The Autumn Defense
When not rocking out with Wilco, multi-instrumentalists John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone dish out smooth ’70s-sounding pop as the Autumn Defense. Their latest and fifth release, the appropriately titled “Fifth,” comes four years after their last effort.
The wait was worth it.
The Autumn Defense is all about melodic hooks and harmonies. Fans looking for some of the rougher musical edges that Wilco dives into will be disappointed. The approach is clearly on display with the opening track, “None of This Will Matter,” a song so easy on the ears it feels like a warm auditory hug.
Stirratt and Sansone find a groove and stick with it through all 12 tracks. That consistency can be either monotonous or entrancing, and sometimes both at the same time.
The songs’ lyrics touch on feelings of melancholy, longing, sadness, love and depression. It’s a broad spectrum, all tied together under the rich musical tapestry created by Stirratt and Sansone.
Watch out, Wilco. The Autumn Defense is on the offensive, albeit in a very mellow way. (AP)